I used to always order everything from Amazon. It was easy, well-priced and convenient. With this morning’s discussion about Amazon Prime’s price increase I looked at my purchases in the past year and I have to admit that the love affair is over. Now I’ll make an effort to find a product elsewhere before ordering from Amazon. Why?
1. Amazon is no longer the lowest price in town. Way back when, when there used to be book stores in my neighborhood, Amazon’s prices were always 30% below retail. Now brick and mortar stores have caught on and are offering the same prices as Amazon’s for many items. Just as an example, I recently purchased a knife at Williams-Sonoma (a retail brand not known for low prices) and they matched Amazon’s price in the store AND I got to take the knife home with me instantly.
2. The annoyance of third-party vendors. Amazon has made it very easy to order from these vendors and very difficult to remove them from your search results. The two major annoyances with third-party vendors are the additional shipping charges that surprise you at checkout and the hassle of returning something when things go wrong. While we’re on the topic of search, Amazon’s search tools make it really difficult to filter results that cause shoppers to browse hundreds of products (more on this here.)
3. There are other options out there for a quick delivery. Google Express caught my attention by giving me a free trial of same-day shipments. If I really need something delivered urgently, it’s mostly something that’s available at a local retailer, be it Target or my neighborhood toy store. Either way, Google gets it to me fast.
4. Pushing Amazon Prime by degrading the delivery experience for everyone else. Even before the recent increase in
prices, it was clear that Amazon wanted to convert shoppers to Prime. For many years, free shipping kicked in after a $25 order. Last October, free shipping started kicking in at over $35. This isn’t necessarily bad but the delivery times for free shipping have increased significantly and I am usually quoted delivery times of almost two weeks. Also, my latest shipments have used a smaller company (not the US Post, UPS or FedEx) that for some reason has mis-delivered two recent packages, causing additional hassle.
All of these factors have caused me to shift my purchases to other online stores.
Amazon, if you want me back, you know what to do.